Account managers may spend hours, days or even months courting potential new staffing customers.

And just how long does it take to lose one of those customers?

We all know the answer to that one. Even a simple customer service slip-up can send a client running for the hills.

Honestly, most of what I write in my Shareworthy Service blog focuses on the positives – things you should do to amaze your clients. But today, I’m turning the tables, because understanding what not to do in customer service is critical, too. So here you go…

What Not to Do in Staffing Customer Service

  1. Bring your problems to work. Your dog may have eaten your JO, but your client shouldn’t hear the frustration in your voice.
  2. Say that there’s nothing you can do to help. This may actually be true in some cases, but you still should never say it. It’s your job to solve your customer’s problem, so dig deep and get creative. And if you’re not sure how to make things right, try asking him! You may just turn a disgruntled client into your biggest fan.
  3. Play the blame game. Finger-pointing is a sure-fire way to put your customer on the defensive – and it does nothing to solve the problem at hand. When you make a mistake, take responsibility. When another party causes the screw up, focus on finding a solution – not placing blame.
  4. Bad-mouth your own company. Saying something like, “I know – I hate the way we process invoices, too,” may help you get through a tough phone call with an upset customer – but it also seriously undermines your company’s brand. Instead, make a statement like, “I can certainly understand your frustration with this invoicing mix-up.” Make sure everyone in a service role within your firm is properly trained to empathize with clients, without bad-mouthing your company.
  5. Rush your customer.
    1. When a client is upset, he may need time to vent. Give it to him.
    2. If a customer calls in with a problem you’ve solved for a hundred other clients already, remember that it’s the first time he’s encountering the problem. Be patient in explaining the solution.
    3. If you have customer who drones on and on long after you’ve obtained what you need to solve his problem, find a polite way to wrap-up the call. Say something like, “I have everything here I need to get this resolved for you.”

Every client who contacts you with a problem wants to feel as though you’re listening. That you’re taking his problem seriously. And that you’re committed to making things right. Steering clear of these five fundamental customer service “no-no’s” will help you make every client feel like his problem is unique, important and surmountable.

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